Inbound FinTech recently attended Hypergrowth London at Old Billingsgate, on the Thames. The rain may have been lashing it down, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the guests and attendees at this lively marketing event. We take a look back at the event highlights, including some of the key insights from the expert speakers that graced the stage.
Hypergrowth London is an event is for marketers and businesses looking to learn, experiment and explore the latest approaches to digital lead gen and achieving growth online. The show promotes innovation in technology and marketing strategy.
A host of big names from the world of marketing, including HubSpot, Marketo and Demandbase, offered revealing insights and shared stories about their successes, failures and learnings, whilst senior figures of inspiring brands, such as Harrods, talked up the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences with marketing. Event sponsors and organisers Drift used the platform to unveil their new ‘Drift Video’ product, which is set to break new ground in B2B lead nurturing. More on that later. Let’s explore the key themes and highlights from Hypergrowth London 2019.
Pushing the boundaries
Hypergrowth is a no-nonsense event in many ways. One auditorium, one stage and wall-to-wall experts speakers, bookended by guest speakers from the world of sport and adventuring, Victoria Pendleton and Jimmy Chin, who both reinforced one of the key themes of the day, which was about pushing the boundaries and not being limited by your imagination and apparent barriers - or indeed the naysayers!
Victoria Pendleton was in lively form, answering questions on what drives her to keep embarking on ambitious new adventures, from professional horse racing and Everest attempts to SAS training, despite her array of awards and successes in cycling.
She talked about her need to stay on “the edge” and the itch to try new challenges that she has to scratch, but she also shared her experiences of vulnerability, self-doubt and even depression, which have led to her to being an advocate for more awareness around mental health issues.
Pendleton left the audience with a powerful statement about courage and how it’s not something you’re born with or that you have to learn.
"Courage is available to everyone and you just need to grasp it and own it."
Someone who has courage in abundance is the man who closed the event, Jimmy Chin. Chin won an Oscar for his incredible documentary about the fearless free climber, Alex Honnold, who scaled the infamous El Capitan, a 3,000-foot big-wall climb in Yosemite - without ropes! He and his team of climbers and filmmakers spent years planning the climb and the documentary, named Free Solo, painstakingly planning out every move and every shot, angle and scenario, to create an immersive viewing experience to demonstrate the grandeur of the death-defying feat.
Chin went against the grain from a very young age, where his traditional Chinese parents had a clear academic and career path mapped out for him, which he chose to divert from. He went down a very different path, but showed just what can be achieved when moving towards a dream and following a journey led more by heart and imagination than reason.
Daring to dream
This theme of following your dreams and pushing the boundaries was picked up from a marketing perspective when Amanda Hill, Chief Marketing & Customer Officer at Harrods, talked about how the imagination of kids can reveal a lot about the way adulthood can suppress our creativity.
She shared the findings of a NASA creativity study, which found that of 1,600 4-5-year-olds tested, 98 percent scored at 'creative genius' level. Five years later, only 30 percent of the same group scored at the same level. Another five years on, only 12 percent reached this level. How about when they were adults? Only two percent scored at the genius level. Sad, right?
This study showed how much kids see things that adults don’t, as their minds are not limited by the fears, constraints and constructs of society and bias.
Amanda talked about the success of Disney and their approach to ideation and strategy. She shared their mantra: “Critique the strategy, not the dream.” I think this nicely sums up the approach of entrepreneurs and ambitious companies. There are always different routes, platforms and strategies that you can use to reach your goals, but they’re not all going to be right. You can always change your approach, you don't have to change or limit your dream.
Storytelling & messaging is key in marketing strategies
Other themes that cropped up at Hypergrowth London included storytelling in marketing and the importance of messaging. Amanda waxed lyrical about storytelling marketing and how “stories make sense of the world around us”, whilst Ryan Deiss, Founder & CEO of DigitalMarketer.com (and best selling author), said that whatever the format or channel, including video, it’s all about copy.
“Marketing is the amplification of message.”
Copywriting and storytelling in marketing and advertising has been going on for years, it just takes different forms now. Ryan reminisced about the old masters, reminding the audience about some classic ads and how they sold products using the power of storytelling.
Charlotte Pearce, CEO & Founder of Inkpact, talked about the modern approach to storytelling marketing and the importance of personalisation, memorable customer experience, word of mouth and so-called ‘Eros moments’ - Eros being the Greek God of Love.
To describe these Eros moments, that her business creates for customers (personalised gifts for recipients), Charlotte used her own storytelling tactic of a romantic gesture which stayed with her and inspired her to start a brand which could create similar moments. A memorable unboxing experience brings a personal touch to a digital, virtual era often devoid of reflection and tangibility.
Building a team of T-shaped marketers
Despite looking back at the marketers and copywriters of the past, Ryan Deiss also focused on the modern predicament for marketers, where we’re constantly overstretched and overrun by the vast scope of the industry and its endless channels and ever-changing trends and technology.
He gave an overview of what is now known as the ‘T-shaped marketer’, which is a recent form of describing the width and depth of knowledge of disciplines marketers are expected to master - something which is becoming virtually impossible without becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.
The picture below shows the attributes of the T-shaped marketer:
Ryan suggested that the key to successfully wielding these tools is to build a team of T-shaped marketers, each with knowledge of all of the attributes but expertise in a few, rather than everyone diluting their impact and abilities by trying to master them all.
Account-based marketing strategies
Peter Isaacson, CMO of Demandbase, was perhaps the most formal of an eclectic line-up of speakers, delving into the subject of targeting and account-based marketing (ABM). Although ABM might not be as exciting as some of the other subjects covered on the day, it’s actually a pretty hot topic in the B2B marketing space.
We're big advocates of account-based marketing at Inbound FinTech. This hyper-targeted approach is a great way to increase the quality of business leads, get your brand and its content in front of key decision-makers and ensure high ROI from paid campaigns. Drift CEO, David Cancel, later shared a slide with the following stat: On average, 6.8 people are involved in B2B purchase decisions.
Peter emphasised the importance of reaching buyers and influencers at the accounts that matter to your business - and reaching them at the start of their buyer’s journey.
Persona-based targeting, CRM onboarding and function targeting all have their flaws. Large businesses have lots of people in similar roles and many won’t be interested in what you are offering. Alarmingly, Peter revealed that “only 10% of B2B demand generation professionals feel that their paid online targeting is effective.” Account based marketing gets you closer to the buying committee, and AI and contextual behaviour at scale are enhancing the impact of ABM.
HubSpot's Brian Halligan takes to the stage
It was great to have the CEO of HubSpot, Brian Halligan, on the Hypergrowth stage. He chatted to David Cancel, and they reminisced about the early days of the platform and how it had to evolve, most recently with the introduction of the HubSpot Service Hub and the adaptation of the funnel to the flywheel.
Don’t confuse the reason people buy with the reason people stay. Great customer service and delightful experiences are key to retaining customers and helping them to become advocates for your brand.
“The winning apps and products are those that disrupt the experience as much as tech.”
Brian discussed the big decisions in the early days of HubSpot, ie, persona, building the category of inbound marketing and then developing the funnel into flywheel. Brands can’t stand still - even those as big and successful as HubSpot. He mentioned that when starting out with HubSpot, there were 17 marketing software companies. There are now over 6000!
Learning from failure
Sarah Kennedy, Chief Marketing Officer at Marketo (now an Adobe Company), talked about learning from failure, as she looked back as far as her air ball in college basketball, which haunted her. But it also inspired Sarah to come back stronger from disappointments and not be disheartened.
She outlined her top tips for aspiring CMOs. One that stuck out was her statement that "nobody is ever fired for justifiably going over budget." The point being, if you’re thinking big and being ambitious you won't be chastised. In fact, being cautious and underspending helps no brand grow. Take risks, test, analyse and learn. If you fail, learn why and put the right things and people in place to succeed where you failed before.
The people at Drift put together a great one-day feast of marketing insights and inspiration to get people excited about embracing innovation and disruption with their marketing. David Cancel, CEO and Co-Founder of Drift and Drift VP, Adam Schoenfeld, both took to the stage to unveil their new Drift Video product, which leverages the power of video to nurture leads in a more engaging and inventive way.
David reeled off a string of statistics and statements about video, such as:
- 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021 (Source: Cisco)
- Video is the best conversation starter in B2B sales and marketing today
He also outlined the 4 key benefits of video marketing, with accompanying headline stats:
- Attention - 59% of execs would rather watch a video than read text (Source: Wordstream)
- Retention - 95% of a message is retained watching a video vs 10% reading text (Source: Insivia)
- Responses - 4x CTR for emails with video vs emails without (Source: Inside Sales)
- Revenue - 50% of Drift revenue in 2018 had video in the sales process
Here’s a quick video from Drift on the ways to use video in the sales process:
The Drift Video product enables businesses to easily create and share videos that start conversations with prospects and leads (and even existing customers). You get real-time notifications when people are watching your video, so you know they got it and you can follow-up with them at the right time.
It was a great day in London for Hypergrowth, which left attendees with a head full of insights and ideas from an inspirational line-up of speakers. The energy was palpable throughout the venue, enhanced by the creative surroundings and features, including graffiti artists, photo booths and DJ decks. Plus, we were also treated to the mad skills of Grace Savage, singer, songwriter, actor and UK Beatboxing Champion! What more could you want?
The team has gained lots of inspiration from the event and we look forward to returning next year! As we mentioned, Inbound FinTech is a big fan of account-based marketing and we create hyper-targeted lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns for our clients.
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